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Pathogens, Volume 4, Issue 4 (December 2015) , Pages 697-893

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Open AccessReview
Calcineurin Orchestrates Hyphal Growth, Septation, Drug Resistance and Pathogenesis of Aspergillus fumigatus: Where Do We Go from Here?
Pathogens 2015, 4(4), 883-893; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens4040883 - 16 Dec 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2425
Abstract
Studies on fungal pathogens belonging to the ascomycota phylum are critical given the ubiquity and frequency with which these fungi cause infections in humans. Among these species, Aspergillus fumigatus causes invasive aspergillosis, a leading cause of death in immunocompromised patients. Fundamental to A. [...] Read more.
Studies on fungal pathogens belonging to the ascomycota phylum are critical given the ubiquity and frequency with which these fungi cause infections in humans. Among these species, Aspergillus fumigatus causes invasive aspergillosis, a leading cause of death in immunocompromised patients. Fundamental to A. fumigatus pathogenesis is hyphal growth. However, the precise mechanisms underlying hyphal growth and virulence are poorly understood. Over the past 10 years, our research towards the identification of molecular targets responsible for hyphal growth, drug resistance and virulence led to the elucidation of calcineurin as a key signaling molecule governing these processes. In this review, we summarize our salient findings on the significance of calcineurin for hyphal growth and septation in A. fumigatus and propose future perspectives on exploiting this pathway for designing new fungal-specific therapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Fungal Pathogens)
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Open AccessReview
Coordinated Molecular Cross-Talk between Staphylococcus aureus, Endothelial Cells and Platelets in Bloodstream Infection
Pathogens 2015, 4(4), 869-882; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens4040869 - 05 Dec 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1981
Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus is an opportunistic pathogen often carried asymptomatically on the human body. Upon entry to the otherwise sterile environment of the cardiovascular system, S. aureus can lead to serious complications resulting in organ failure and death. The success of S. aureus as [...] Read more.
Staphylococcus aureus is an opportunistic pathogen often carried asymptomatically on the human body. Upon entry to the otherwise sterile environment of the cardiovascular system, S. aureus can lead to serious complications resulting in organ failure and death. The success of S. aureus as a pathogen in the bloodstream is due to its ability to express a wide array of cell wall proteins on its surface that recognise host receptors, extracellular matrix proteins and plasma proteins. Endothelial cells and platelets are important cells in the cardiovascular system and are a major target of bloodstream infection. Endothelial cells form the inner lining of a blood vessel and provide an antithrombotic barrier between the vessel wall and blood. Platelets on the other hand travel throughout the cardiovascular system and respond by aggregating around the site of injury and initiating clot formation. Activation of either of these cells leads to functional dysregulation in the cardiovascular system. In this review, we will illustrate how S. aureus establish intimate interactions with both endothelial cells and platelets leading to cardiovascular dysregulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Staphylococcus Aureus Infection)
Open AccessReview
Antimicrobial Mechanisms of Macrophages and the Immune Evasion Strategies of Staphylococcus aureus
Pathogens 2015, 4(4), 826-868; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens4040826 - 27 Nov 2015
Cited by 47 | Viewed by 4041
Abstract
Habitually professional phagocytes, including macrophages, eradicate microbial invaders from the human body without overt signs of infection. Despite this, there exist select bacteria that are professional pathogens, causing significant morbidity and mortality across the globe and Staphylococcus aureus is no exception. S. aureus [...] Read more.
Habitually professional phagocytes, including macrophages, eradicate microbial invaders from the human body without overt signs of infection. Despite this, there exist select bacteria that are professional pathogens, causing significant morbidity and mortality across the globe and Staphylococcus aureus is no exception. S. aureus is a highly successful pathogen that can infect virtually every tissue that comprises the human body causing a broad spectrum of diseases. The profound pathogenic capacity of S. aureus can be attributed, in part, to its ability to elaborate a profusion of bacterial effectors that circumvent host immunity. Macrophages are important professional phagocytes that contribute to both the innate and adaptive immune response, however from in vitro and in vivo studies, it is evident that they fail to eradicate S. aureus. This review provides an overview of the antimicrobial mechanisms employed by macrophages to combat bacteria and describes the immune evasion strategies and some representative effectors that enable S. aureus to evade macrophage-mediated killing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Staphylococcus Aureus Infection)
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Open AccessShort Communication
Full Genomic Characterization of a Saffold Virus Isolated in Peru
Pathogens 2015, 4(4), 816-825; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens4040816 - 20 Nov 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2409
Abstract
While studying respiratory infections of unknown etiology we detected Saffold virus in an oropharyngeal swab collected from a two-year-old female suffering from diarrhea and respiratory illness. The full viral genome recovered by deep sequencing showed 98% identity to a previously described Saffold strain [...] Read more.
While studying respiratory infections of unknown etiology we detected Saffold virus in an oropharyngeal swab collected from a two-year-old female suffering from diarrhea and respiratory illness. The full viral genome recovered by deep sequencing showed 98% identity to a previously described Saffold strain isolated in Japan. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed the Peruvian Saffold strain belongs to genotype 3 and is most closely related to strains that have circulated in Asia. This is the first documented case report of Saffold virus in Peru and the only complete genomic characterization of a Saffold-3 isolate from the Americas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Respiratory Pathogens)
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Open AccessReview
Immunomodulation and Disease Tolerance to Staphylococcus aureus
Pathogens 2015, 4(4), 793-815; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens4040793 - 13 Nov 2015
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3443
Abstract
The Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most frequent pathogens that causes severe morbidity and mortality throughout the world. S. aureus can infect skin and soft tissues or become invasive leading to diseases such as pneumonia, endocarditis, sepsis or toxic shock [...] Read more.
The Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most frequent pathogens that causes severe morbidity and mortality throughout the world. S. aureus can infect skin and soft tissues or become invasive leading to diseases such as pneumonia, endocarditis, sepsis or toxic shock syndrome. In contrast, S. aureus is also a common commensal microbe and is often part of the human nasal microbiome without causing any apparent disease. In this review, we explore the immunomodulation and disease tolerance mechanisms that promote commensalism to S. aureus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Staphylococcus Aureus Infection)
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Open AccessReview
Disruptions of Host Immunity and Inflammation by Giardia Duodenalis: Potential Consequences for Co-Infections in the Gastro-Intestinal Tract
Pathogens 2015, 4(4), 764-792; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens4040764 - 10 Nov 2015
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 2767
Abstract
Giardia duodenalis (syn. G. intestinalis, or G. lamblia) is a leading cause of waterborne diarrheal disease that infects hundreds of millions of people annually. Research on Giardia has greatly expanded within the last few years, and our understanding of the pathophysiology [...] Read more.
Giardia duodenalis (syn. G. intestinalis, or G. lamblia) is a leading cause of waterborne diarrheal disease that infects hundreds of millions of people annually. Research on Giardia has greatly expanded within the last few years, and our understanding of the pathophysiology and immunology on this parasite is ever increasing. At peak infection, Giardia trophozoites induce pathophysiological responses that culminate in the development of diarrheal disease. However, human data has suggested that the intestinal mucosa of Giardia-infected individuals is devoid of signs of overt intestinal inflammation, an observation that is reproduced in animal models. Thus, our understanding of host inflammatory responses to the parasite remain incompletely understood and human studies and experimental data have produced conflicting results. It is now also apparent that certain Giardia infections contain mechanisms capable of modulating their host’s immune responses. As the oral route of Giardia infection is shared with many other gastrointestinal (GI) pathogens, co-infections may often occur, especially in places with poor sanitation and/or improper treatment of drinking water. Moreover, Giardia infections may modulate host immune responses and have been found to protect against the development of diarrheal disease in developing countries. The following review summarizes our current understanding of the immunomodulatory mechanisms of Giardia infections and their consequences for the host, and highlights areas for future research. Potential implications of these immunomodulatory effects during GI co-infection are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host-Parasite Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Candida albicans Shed Msb2 and Host Mucins Affect the Candidacidal Activity of Salivary Hst 5
Pathogens 2015, 4(4), 752-763; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens4040752 - 30 Oct 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2390
Abstract
Salivary Histatin 5 (Hst 5) is an antimicrobial peptide that exhibits potent antifungal activity towards Candida albicans, the causative agent of oral candidiasis. However, it exhibits limited activity in vivo, largely due to inactivation by salivary components of both host and [...] Read more.
Salivary Histatin 5 (Hst 5) is an antimicrobial peptide that exhibits potent antifungal activity towards Candida albicans, the causative agent of oral candidiasis. However, it exhibits limited activity in vivo, largely due to inactivation by salivary components of both host and pathogen origin. Proteins secreted by C. albicans during infection such as secreted aspartyl proteases (Saps) and shed mucin Msb2 can reduce Hst 5 activity; and human salivary mucins, while suggested to protect Hst 5 from proteolytic degradation, can entrap peptides into mucin gels, thereby reducing bioavailability. We show here that Sap6 that is secreted during hyphal growth reduces Hst 5 activity, most likely a result of proteolytic degradation of Hst 5 since this effect is abrogated with heat inactivated Sap 6. We further show that just like C. albicans shedding Msb2, mammalian mucins, fetuin and porcine gut mucin (that is related to salivary mucins), also reduce Hst 5 activity. However, we identify mucin-like protein-induced changes in C. albicans cell morphology and aggregation patterns, suggesting that the effect of such proteins on Hst 5 cannot be interpreted independently of their effect on yeast cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Candida Albicans Infections)
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Open AccessCommunication
Identification of Epstein-Barr Virus Replication Proteins in Burkitt’s Lymphoma Cells
Pathogens 2015, 4(4), 739-751; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens4040739 - 29 Oct 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2575
Abstract
The working model to describe the mechanisms used to replicate the cancer-associated virus Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is partly derived from comparisons with other members of the Herpes virus family. Many genes within the EBV genome are homologous across the herpes virus family. Published [...] Read more.
The working model to describe the mechanisms used to replicate the cancer-associated virus Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is partly derived from comparisons with other members of the Herpes virus family. Many genes within the EBV genome are homologous across the herpes virus family. Published transcriptome data for the EBV genome during its lytic replication cycle show extensive transcription, but the identification of the proteins is limited. We have taken a global proteomics approach to identify viral proteins that are expressed during the EBV lytic replication cycle. We combined an enrichment method to isolate cells undergoing EBV lytic replication with SILAC-labeling coupled to mass-spectrometry and identified viral and host proteins expressed during the OPEN ACCESS Pathogens 2015, 4 740 EBV lytic replication cycle. Amongst the most frequently identified viral proteins are two components of the DNA replication machinery, the single strand DNA binding protein BALF2, DNA polymerase accessory protein BMRF1 and both subunits of the viral ribonucleoside-diphosphate reductase enzyme (BORF2 and BaRF1). An additional 42 EBV lytic cycle proteins were also detected. This provides proteomic identification for many EBV lytic replication cycle proteins and also identifies post-translational modifications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infection and Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
Differential Contributions of the Complement Anaphylotoxin Receptors C5aR1 and C5aR2 to the Early Innate Immune Response against Staphylococcus aureus Infection
Pathogens 2015, 4(4), 722-738; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens4040722 - 23 Oct 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2061
Abstract
The complement anaphylatoxin C5a contributes to host defense against Staphylococcus aureus. In this study, we investigated the functional role of the two known C5a receptors, C5aR1 and C5aR2, in the host response to S. aureus. We found that C5aR1−/ mice [...] Read more.
The complement anaphylatoxin C5a contributes to host defense against Staphylococcus aureus. In this study, we investigated the functional role of the two known C5a receptors, C5aR1 and C5aR2, in the host response to S. aureus. We found that C5aR1−/ mice exhibited greater susceptibility to S. aureus bloodstream infection than wild type and C5aR2−/ mice, as demonstrated by the significantly higher bacterial loads in the kidneys and heart at 24 h of infection, and by the higher levels of inflammatory IL-6 in serum. Histological and immunohistochemistry investigation of infected kidneys at 24 h after bacterial inoculation revealed a discrete infiltration of neutrophils in wild type mice but already well-developed abscesses consisting of bacterial clusters surrounded by a large number of neutrophils in both C5aR1−/ and C5aR2/ mice. Furthermore, blood neutrophils from C5aR1−/ mice were less efficient than those from wild type or C5aR2−/ mice at killing S. aureus. The requirement of C5aR1 for efficient killing of S. aureus was also demonstrated in human blood after disrupting C5a-C5aR1 signaling using specific inhibitors. These results demonstrated a role for C5aR1 in S. aureus clearance as well as a role for both C5aR1 and C5aR2 in the orchestration of the inflammatory response during infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Staphylococcus Aureus Infection)
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Open AccessBrief Report
Kinase Inhibitors that Increase the Sensitivity of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus to β-Lactam Antibiotics
Pathogens 2015, 4(4), 708-721; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens4040708 - 22 Oct 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2140
Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus are Gram-positive bacteria that are the leading cause of recurrent infections in humans that include pneumonia, bacteremia, osteomyelitis, arthritis, endocarditis, and toxic shock syndrome. The emergence of methicillin resistant S. aureus strains (MRSA) has imposed a significant concern in sustained measures [...] Read more.
Staphylococcus aureus are Gram-positive bacteria that are the leading cause of recurrent infections in humans that include pneumonia, bacteremia, osteomyelitis, arthritis, endocarditis, and toxic shock syndrome. The emergence of methicillin resistant S. aureus strains (MRSA) has imposed a significant concern in sustained measures of treatment against these infections. Recently, MRSA strains deficient in expression of a serine/threonine kinase (Stk1 or PknB) were described to exhibit increased sensitivity to β-lactam antibiotics. In this study, we screened a library consisting of 280 drug-like, low-molecular-weight compounds with the ability to inhibit protein kinases for those that increased the sensitivity of wild-type MRSA to β-lactams and then evaluated their toxicity in mice. We report the identification of four kinase inhibitors, the sulfonamides ST085384, ST085404, ST085405, and ST085399 that increased sensitivity of WT MRSA to sub-lethal concentrations of β-lactams. Furthermore, these inhibitors lacked alerting structures commonly associated with toxic effects, and toxicity was not observed with ST085384 or ST085405 in vivo in a murine model. These results suggest that kinase inhibitors may be useful in therapeutic strategies against MRSA infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Staphylococcus Aureus Infection)
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Open AccessReview
Studies of Immune Responses in Candida vaginitis
Pathogens 2015, 4(4), 697-707; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens4040697 - 09 Oct 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2500
Abstract
The widespread occurrence of vaginal candidiasis and the development of resistance against anti-fungal agents has stimulated interest in understanding the pathogenesis of this disease. The aim of our work was to characterize, in an animal model of vaginal candidiasis, the mechanisms that play [...] Read more.
The widespread occurrence of vaginal candidiasis and the development of resistance against anti-fungal agents has stimulated interest in understanding the pathogenesis of this disease. The aim of our work was to characterize, in an animal model of vaginal candidiasis, the mechanisms that play a role in the induction of mucosal immunity against C. albicans and the interaction between innate and adaptive immunity. Our studies evidenced the elicitation of cell-mediated immunity (CMIs) and antibody (Abs)-mediated immunity with a Th1 protective immunity. An immune response of this magnitude in the vagina was very encouraging to identify the proper targets for new strategies for vaccination or immunotherapy of vaginal candidiasis. Overall, our data provide clear evidence that it is possible to prevent C. albicans vaginal infection by active intravaginal immunization with aspartyl proteinase expressed as recombinant protein. This opens the way to a modality for anti-Candida protection at the mucosa. The recombinant protein Sap2 was assembled with virosomes, and a vaccine PEVION7 (PEV7) was obtained. The results have given evidence that the vaccine, constituted of virosomes and Secretory aspartyl proteinase 2 (Sap2) (PEV7), has an encouraging therapeutic potential for the treatment of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Candida Albicans Infections)
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